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Federal Government Bans H I V, Pregnancy Tests At Covenant University - Education - Nairaland

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Federal Government Bans H I V, Pregnancy Tests At Covenant University by spora(m): 4:53pm On Oct 09, 2007

Authorities of Covenant University, Ota, Ogun State, have been barred from further conducting compulsory HIV and pregnancy tests on its students and staff. The university, owned by the Living Faith Tabernacle, a.k.a Winners’ Chapel, had made HIV and pregnancy tests mandatory for both staff and students, at the point of entry and exit into the institution.

The exercise had precipitated widespread public criticism, with parents of some affected students expressing their reservations on the first-of-its-kind idea.

But the National Agency for the Control of Aids (NACA), a Federal Government parastatal, recently waded into the controversial matter by calling a stakeholders’ meeting involving representatives of the university, the Federal Ministry of Education and the Nigerian Universities Commission (NUC).

At the end of the deliberation, it was agreed among other things, that: “the issue of HIV and pregnancy is very sensitive and hence should be removed from the battery of tests conducted by the university at the point of entry and exit.”

A statement on the meeting’s outcome, signed by NACA’s Director General, however, said the university was urged to establish a separate pre and post testing counseling service for its students.

The statement added that “the university affirmed its willingness to continue with the teaching of the system-wide curriculum on Reproductive and Sexual Health and Rights developed by the NUC for all universities.”

Also, NACA agreed to collaborate with NUC to facilitate the establishment of a Youth Friendly Centre in the university “to provide an enabling and congenial environment for counseling and testing of students.”

NACA, regulatory body of HIV/AIDS activities in the country, restated that the National Policy on HIV stipulates that “HIV testing must be voluntary and with the prior consent of the individual concerned,” which is in concert with the National Policy on HIV and AIDS for the education sector.

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